Cooking in water is not the way to make a natural pefume

Internet is a nice thing – you can find a lot of surprising, unique and rare information there. But you don’t always know if what you found is true. On some blogs and websites (and may be even in some books) you can find a receipt for making of natural perfume from fresh flowers.

You are advised to collect fresh fragrant flowers, cook them in water, filter and bottle. Let me explain why you can’t make perfume this way.

Technically, natural perfume is a solution of pleasant smelling essential oils of flowers (and other plants) in a suitable carrier. This solution should be preserved from decomposition. Essential oils are extremely volatile and evaporate easily when herbs or flowers are heated or boiled. So, making natural perfume by cooking of fresh flowers is impossible – because of three main reasons:

1. Essential oils are volatile – they easily evaporate from fresh flowers by cooking. Remember – distillation is the process of yielding of essential oils from plants based on volatility of essential oils, but to get fragrant material you should be able to catch and condensate the water vapour and not the decoct of flowers. So, when you are cooking of fresh flowers in an open pan, you have all the essential oils evaporated and decoct without any fragrant materials left.

2. Water is not a suitable carrier for making perfume, as almost all the essential oils, their components and other fragrant materials of flowers are not water soluble. It’s not possible to saturate water with fragrant materials enough to make a perfume. Of course, there are rose water, orange water etc, but they are the products of distillation and not just cooking.

3. A decoct of fresh flowers without any preservatives in it can easily get decomposed by mean of mould or bacteria in a couple of days.

So, a strange smelling brownish liquid with the greyish green mould lumps would probably be the result.

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